On Tuesday I talked about the first two rack benefits; security and regulatory compliance, and configurability. The importance of a thoughtfully designed Rack Cabinet that provides critical benefits cannot be overstated. Let’s pick up where we left off on Tuesday and discuss the three remaining key features and benefits you should look for when purchasing a Rack Enclosure.

Cooling and Efficiency

3. Cooling and Efficiency

Most racks are rated up to 3,000 pounds. That’s literally more than a ton of equipment! And when you pack a rack with lots of equipment, you pack it with lots of heat. Rack Enclosures should be designed to handle the heat load of high-density installations. Perforated doors permit massive front-to-rear airflow that exceeds server manufacturer requirements and supports hot-aisle/cold-aisle configurations for more efficient cooling. According to studies by TDI Data Centers, hot-aisle/cold-aisle can reduce energy use up to 20%. That usually requires at least two rows of cabinets, but you can get the same benefit in a smaller space by adding thermal ducts, which should be an available accessory. Optional thermal duct kits route hot air directly to the HVAC/CRAC return air stream. The negative pressure of the return air duct pulls heat from the enclosure without using additional electricity.

System Availability

4. System Availability

If you can’t keep your equipment cool, it’s going to shut down so cooling is one of the keys to system availability. But don’t overlook rack cable management accessories. If you have tangled masses of cables clogging up your enclosures, it will kill your airflow. Cable management also reduces human error, which is one of the main causes of downtime. Rack enclosures should also support toolless mounting of a variety of horizontal and vertical, internal and external cable managers, including high-density cable managers that permit you to effectively organize large quantities of network patch cables.

Saving Space

5. Saving Space

Here’s where a Wall Mount Rack Cabinet comes in handy. Wall Mount Racks should feature the same design principles as floor-standing enclosures, but with an emphasis on quick, easy installation and maintenance. They’re perfect for small server rooms, wiring closets and other rooms where you don’t have much floor space but you still need to keep equipment secure and organized. Wall Mount Rack Enclosures are typically available in sizes from 5U to 26U.